diy_rig.jpg

Make Your Own Bullet-Time Rig Out of 104 Pinhole Cameras

Now, this takes DIY filmmaking to a whole new level …

I’ve long held the belief that the best and most creative filmmaking individuals are skateboarders. Driven by creativity and necessity, early skateboard videos are masterclasses in DIY production techniques and simply solving the many issues of run-and-gun videography.

As such, when we do find new and innovative breakthroughs, many times it’s not surprising to trace their origins to the DIY creatives who simply wanted to make something look cool. This might very well be the case with this dope new experimental video which — fittingly enough — is about skateboarding.

Take a look …

Skateboarding Trapped in Time

Created by Colin Read and shared on Reddit, this experimental project is a perfect example of DIY filmmaking at its finest. Shot in complete darkness, a 104 pinhole camera rig was constructed along a 21-foot loop, which was lined with a single strip of 35mm film.

And the results of the video above were captured in a lightproof and pitch-black studio by exposing all the frames along the strip at the same moment with a smattering of powerful strobe lights. The results are grungy yet beautiful matrix-style bullet-time images that create the illusion of frozen time.

How’d They Do It?

But what’s cooler still than just checking out the final product video above, is taking a peek into how they were able to make the damn thing.

Luckily, a second video shot by Eric Schleicher offers a cool behind-the-scenes look into the construction of this DIY skateboard bullet-time rig. Check that out below.

As you can see, the rig was truly DIY and created by hand. The 360-degree rig included 104 pinhole cameras in a 7-foot diameter circle (itself loaded with the 21-foot loop of 35mm film). It was shot by using a hand-cranked 35mm camera along with lenticular stills camera and Super 16.

Via Reddit, the process is described in more detail:

Pinhole cameras usually use long exposures, since the aperture is so small… but long exposure won’t work with skateboard tricks! So we loaded our giant rig in a lightproof, pitch black studio, working by feel and sound, using a single strip of film. And then, we exposed all 104 frames along that strip at the same moment, with a whole lot of powerful strobes. It was like flashing the sun for 1/1000 of a second, after being in a black cave for twenty minutes.

Overall, it’s a pretty cool DIY project that produces images the likes of which I can honestly say I’ve never seen. The BTS video gives you a good appreciation for the amount of ingenuity needed to construct such a rig.

However, the results speak for themselves and should hopefully spark some inspiration in others to try out some cool new projects on their own.

Would you try something like this? Let us know!

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